Stockholm is a wonderful city. It is not a large city, but its services are comparable to those of a metropolis. The center is great. The long, quiet streets are ideal for leisurely walks. Stockholm is very beautiful, especially in spring or summer. The city is also exceptionally green. Sustainability has long been an important issue. Living in Stockholm is not bad.
Traffic can be heavy, especially during the morning and evening rush hours. However, compared to other major European cities the situation is much better, as many people use public transportation, which is well-functioning, clean and safe. The only drawback for those who live outside the city could be the fact that train delays in bad weather, especially heavy snowfall.
As in the rest of the country, the social system in Stockholm is excellent: paid maternity or paternity leave, free school system up to university, free public health system, etc.
But, living in Stockholm is extremely expensive, it is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, the cost of living is estimated at around $ 3,000 per month.
The most critical situation is in the real estate market, where housing prices are skyrocketing. There are very few rental apartments. In Stockholm, about 45% of apartments are social housing, but the waiting times to get one of these “fixed price rental apartments” far exceed the average life of your cat. So the only chance is to turn to the secondary market and rely on second or third hand rents and be ready to move in every year.
Stockholmers are generally shy and reserved, but once they get to know each other, they are very nice and funny. However, it takes a long time to get to know people well enough to consider them friends. Stockholmers are generally easygoing and it is hard to find chaos on the streets. This innate introversion of people leads to a somewhat limited social life that only comes to life on weekends in bars and clubs, where the national sport of ‘drinking in company’ is practiced.
Immigration has recently become one of the biggest problems in Stockholm (and Sweden as a whole), as the influx of asylum seekers over the past decade has been accompanied by an increase in crime.
If you are a lover of typical Swedish cuisine, that’s fine, but if you expect to eat in the style of your country, be prepared to spend a fortune.
For those used to the sun, the weather in Stockholm is not the best. Spring and summer are short and rarely exceeds 20 °C The rest is a long, gloomy, dark winter.
Speaking of work, Stockholm is home to many international companies, and most people in the city speak English well, so learning the local language is not necessary for some jobs. However, if you learn Swedish, your life will become much easier, and employment opportunities will improve significantly in terms of quantity and, more importantly, quality.
Stockholm is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. One of the biggest innovations in the city has been the creation of a public broadband Internet network that has spawned a strong technology sector (life sciences, information and communications technology, entertainment, and environmental technology companies). To take just one example: Spotify. If you are an expert in this field, it will probably not be difficult for you to find a job in Stockholm.
Work and personal life are well matched. Most people do not work much more than 40 hours a week. There is no real hierarchy in Sweden. That is not to say that there is no hierarchy in the workplace. But it is much less common than in many other countries. Working in Sweden is safe, you can be sure that your employer will treat you fairly and that you cannot be dismissed without notice, except in cases of gross negligence. Working conditions are relaxed, the pace is slower than in most other countries.
If you are interested in working in Sweden, read the article: Working in Sweden
Living and working in Stockholm, conclusion
In summary, I’d say that Stockholm is a very nice city to live and work in. Very clean and without pollution. Living in Stockholm is quite easy, as the administrative and social system works perfectly, as in the rest of Sweden. There are no homeless people, very little poverty and the traffic is reasonable.
Stockholm is also the only big city in Sweden where people run on the streets because they are in a hurry and a bit stressed, unlike other places in Sweden.
It’s cold many months of the year, but it’s warm at home. The only real problem is the difficulty of getting used to the winter months with complete darkness. So prepare to be a little depressed during this time.
If you are interested in moving to another Swedish city, read the article: How to move to Sweden